PlayStation Experience 2017 in review
Well, Sony’s end-of-year conference behemoth has finally ended, and despite there being no actual press conference to speak of, the jury can agree that it was one great show. Despite already treating audiences around the globe to a slew of new trailers, gameplay demos, and news announcements in other shows like Gamescom, E3, and Paris Games Week earlier this year, PSX 2017 justified its existence with an emphasis on PSVR support and panel highlights.
Many criticised the PlayStation-centric showcase heading in, scratching their heads about how Sony would handle such a huge public event when their controversial Last of Us and Detroit trailers had only been released a month or so earlier. This was immediately disproved by announcements like the return of PSOne classic Medieval (something that could only be broken amongst the PlayStation passionate), an in-depth look at Media Molecule’s Dreams, and the reveal of Last Guardian VR. Not earth-shaking stuff by any means, but important to the kind of audience PSX annually draws.
For me personally, PSX was all about the videogame panels. A devout opportunity in which people could sit back, relax, and collectively share in a discussion about their shared hobby, these are what elevate PSX above an event like E3 and always will. Mediated by Greg Miller and featuring the likes of Nolan North, Robin Atkin Downes, and Troy Baker, the 10 Years of Uncharted panel was surprisingly emotional at points, with many voice cast members discussing never before shared stories amongst various thoughts on what the franchise means for them.
While watching, you really got the impression that the people on stage weren’t solely just co-workers, instead resembling a tight family unit who respected each other for the opportunities they were able to give themselves. Regardless of what your thoughts might be on the send off Nathan Drake was given with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, PlayStation’s flagship adventure franchise – currently on ice – will surely be missed, and North’s last words: “Nathan Drake never has to go away, if you miss him download it” were especially poignant.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that PSX 2017 proved the sheer versatility an event like this can be. There doesn’t always have to be new big game announcements or an orchestra-driven press conference, rather it can be whatever Sony and fans want it to be, providing it is given enough thought. How Microsoft have gone so long without a similarly Xbox-themed event baffles me. When the PlayStation nation are willing to turn out in droves to meet up, surely Xbox One owners are aching to do the same. Maybe next year?